Jamie had been going crazy go for a while. She’d tried to explain it, she’d tried to deal with it herself, she’d tried to smoke the insanity away with pot but it only made it worse. When she talked about it she was unable to tell anyone what it was. She would start with lines something like–
“I think I can explain it.”
Then launch into a story about a tiger and a mushroom trip. But when she stopped talking and nodded in satisfaction as though she’d finally said the words she’d been trying to say, nobody knew what she was talking about.
On the day in questions one of her roommates had called friends and thrown a small get together before going to the bars, downtown. They drank good beers and took shots of Jameson that had been floating around since christmas without any resolve. The kitchen was a mess of a place with dishes piled near the sink and food splattered over the stove. The floor was stained and marked by food and shows alike. When they cleaned it they would throw down some bleach, the spray water on the linoleum take a long, stiff haired brushed, rather like a brume and scrub it like the house had horrible teeth–though it was only the floor.
There were five or six people in the kitchen on this night. All drinking. One or two with ciders, the others with beer. All laughing and having a great time. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then a black dog ran into the kitchen, wagging her tail. The dog’s name was Nexus. Then, behind her, in the doorway Jamie appeared. She’d shaved her head some time ago on both sides and left a small amount of hair near the top, and though 26 years old, she hadn’t been able to shake the acne that spotted her face. Even if she had not been going insane, she would have looked crazy.
“Hey, Jamie,” someone said.
She leaned on the doorframe. She had a habit of wearing clothes that were far too large for her. Her eyes were severe, turning inward and it was clear she was seeing something other than everyone else in the room.
Her lips moved but no sound came out. Then, with what looked like great effort, she spoke.
“Can someone explain?”
She didn’t say what needed to be explained.
“We’re hanging out. That’s all,” someone said.
She mouthed words again, but this time no sound escaped. Then she sank down onto the floor, he back to the wall. A couple people asked her questions but she didn’t answer. She just looked ahead, unseeing and unaware, as far as anyone could tell, that the only thing that was wrong was her.
She said one last thing, “Where’s Greg?”
Years ago Greg and her were a couple, now they were good friends and when Jamie was afraid and scared of nothing Greg was the only person who could communicate with her.
“Greg is at work,” said someone.
Jamie’s lips moved then she began to shake. Her breath was shallow and nobody knew what to do.